Wrapping Up and Ready to Come Home

[By Tom Franke] Hello Friends and family of students and staff! As I write this update to you, the team is currently in Costa Rica at Rice and Beans Ministries where we started our mission trip. God has shown His grace to us again and again! We have been richly blessed by His provision for our needs, His wisdom in the things we have learned, and His gentle yet loving correction when we’ve needed it!

This morning we woke up to an early start for covid testing for our return home. Praise God all have passed with a negative test result – with the exception of myself. For some reason, my test results have not yet come in, but I have little concern about it. God is in control! We look forward to seeing you all soon!

Our mission trip to Nicaragua has been… well, very full! It’s hard to come up with a recap of all that’s happened. I know that each student will have something different to share about their experiences (the difficulties and the highlights), but in our debrief this morning one thing was clear to us all, God in His sovereignty has purposed to grow each one of us closer to Himself in some way through this experience. Our debrief time focused on some important aspects of the Christian life and what to expect when we return home. We challenged the students that although their time at ACTS and the experiences of this mission’s trip might have deepened their determination to follow Jesus, the real test will come when they go back to their normal lives. This is not necessarily because of family or friends. This is a challenge we as staff members have to face as well. In the monument when our emotions are in sync with our commitment and drive to pursue after the things of the Lord, it’s easy. But as soon as the structure of the program is gone and the mundane and the routineness of our lives come back, then the real test is on! We challenged the students with this reality and to remember Jesus the Author and perfecter of their faith (Hebrews 12:2), to put no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3), and to press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). This perseverance comes by the grace of God, but we are also called to persevere as Philippians 2:12-13 says:

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed,
so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence,
work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure

Please continue to pray for all of us! We have a long flight ahead of us starting at 1:30am tomorrow morning. Thank you for your prayers and constant support! We are all looking forward to seeing you all back in the states! God willing, we’ll see you soon!

[Here’s a short video Tom put together from their time in Nicaragua.]